Casting Out Worry About Control

DSC_0681For a long while now, I’ve been worried about a myriad of things: money, travel, am I doing anything worthwhile with my life? (As you can see, the questions have escalated the more I’ve thought about all the things about which to worry!)

But then there are these moments when that still small voice whispers this: I AM. And it is in these moments that I realize I cannot possibly control all these things.

There is just too much going on for my human mind to truly understand or assert control over, so I started writing poetry. Because I cannot control situations, but I can control expressions. How do you cope with lack of control? Most of our sin is sin that comes out of an inability to control or a desire to control something that we cannot. Think about – how many times have you lied or stolen or disregarded… Because you were trying to control the situation? Right?

 

Inside and outside

Of situations I wish I could

Leave behind

Cords of uncertainty

Strain themselves

Tightening around

My mind

And fear takes hold

And I hold

Onto it like there is

Nothing else

For me to count on

Or hope in

But something changes

When perspective engages

Fear and hope

Putting things

In much more reasonable light

To be reminded that gratitude

Is always an option

And it is not just a posture

To take on once a year

But a position to live from,

It’s where we conquer fear

And hatred

And misunderstanding

Where we stand above the lesser choice

Of pride

And anxiousness

And uncertainty.

There is nothing wrong

With recognizing the unknown

But the problems start

When we forget

There’s One

Who always knows,

His arms reach beyond

The frailty of our minds

To wrap us up in safety

Gratitude

And perfect Love

Casting out

Every thought

That has kept us bound,

Positioning our hearts

In gratitude

To hear this lovely sound:

You are loved

And you are strong

And my grace covers it all.

Be thankful this year

Step out of the fear

Knowing He’s sufficient

Knowing you’re not alone

Breathe, my dear

You can live in gratitude

Now

And every moment

This is grateful breakthrough

 

DSC_0740Life is funny, isn’t it? The way we deal with pain and fear, but I wonder how thankfulness and giving up this need for control could change all of that. There will always be a level of uncertainty we have to live with and giving up the attempts to try and make everything understandable. Because in these vain attempts to control, sometimes we eat a lot or not enough… we overwork or throw all “care” to the wind and lay around… we work out incessantly or stare at screens for hours on end—organizing our public images…

We do all of these things out of this deeper desire to control. But I think there would be much less stress if we (here’s the Thanksgiving-y beginning of this post) practiced GRATITUDE.

We are constantly, especially around this time of year, reminding one another and ourselves to be thankful for what we have, but I think it becomes an oddly normal thing to be reminded of it, but putting it in perspective isn’t really practiced.

When I put into perspective how much God has promised me in life, and just how incredibly blessed I am to have such a loving family and enough food and clean water, the incredibly small number in my broke-college-student checking account isn’t quite so anxiety inducing anymore. This much has been provided, and even in moments when I don’t have enough money or enough sleep or enough time, there is always a way out because my God is faithful and so are my family and friends.

The other day, my cousin and I were talking about how incredibly blessed we are to live in the United States—to have been born here. What a crazy way that our lives have been orchestrated.

DSC_0627Something else so incredibly wonderful to be thankful for is that we get to be advocates for justice for all of those people throughout the world that don’t have a voice—we get to stand up against human trafficking and we get to stand up for immigrants, refugees, abused children, those living in domestic violence situation, oppressed people… We get to be voices for them—that’s something to be so very thankful for!!

We get so caught up in all the daily stressors, in worrying about today, tomorrow, next week, and next year. Our minds begin to suffocate from fear, but there is something so beautiful about gratitude—it loosens the bindings of fear around our minds. Slowly, we begin to live lives permanently positioned to be so incredibly grateful, everyone around us begins to catch on and gain this innate desire to just be thankful. There is a lot of bad, but oh, there is so much good, my friends.

Be thankful this year, and just never stop being thankful.

•••

With Love,

Hannah

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